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Tracking, the time space continuum and the forensic arts.
Pretty isn't she, she is an Indian paint.
This article is not about string theory or is it?
Tracking is truly art and science. The more scientific data you have when applying your skills as a tracker the better you are going to do. I do not want to debate what the forensic means in this hub. I use it here as the art of taking given empirical data to extrapolate a larger truth – or theorize.
Quickly I will tell you my 3.5 year old story. My brother was 5.5 and we were playing hide and seek. The cheater spread flour on the floor to see where I had gone. He laughed so hard, but it only happened once, the next time I walked backwards. So I got into tracking at a young age. Later that brother and I tracked an Elk about 5 miles, 3 times in order to know just where he would be when hunting season opened. Truth is that was the last time we really hunted, the elk was our friend.
A wise Navajo once told me; "do not look for what mother gives you, look to see what she already has"
Let us begin with the concept of “what we learn about tracking”. That is all wrong. To really track the concept needs to be flipped, “what we learn from tracking”. Every print every broken stick and every weather pattern teaches us more about ourselves, our world and about the plants and animals that live with us here.
Look at this next picture, there are two equine prints. One larger than the other and deeper imbedded. One is a quarter horse with a large person on it and the other is a pony with a small person on it. Both have shoes on. Both are on the same trail. Yesterday I thought they were riding together. Today I had fun and tracked them for well over a mile.
The large print was in some soup (newly wet ground and mud), that changes my calculations on size and timing. The smaller print was a day later after sun and wind and temperature changed about the top quarter inch of soil to dry. I can tell you some other things: The large horse had a crappy rider – the prints were constantly in a relation to a horse with their head pulled back unnaturally. And for sure no good rider would take a horse up a steep hill with mud on the ground for no reason. The pony I believe to be a show horse of some type. The shoes left a print like a manicure. The gait left most strides with the back hoof landing right on top of the front print. The front of the print did not have a bulldozer look to it. But what gave it away was no eradicate prints. This rider clicked her mouth and gently lead with the reins as though the rider and horse were one. I know I was there with them,,,, so to speak.
I am sorry you cannot see the pony print here. I kneeled down and dropped sand to see if it fell differently, it did but to hard to see.
Your body may be bound here and now. But never is your mind.
Now to the time and space continuum. That is why I got so excited today. With the new revelation of time, both horses could be in exactly the same space. If they are not walking simultaneously. Then they can occupy the exact same location. This happened repeatedly going up a steep hill. I presumed the driest part of the path. This was a change in elevation of over 1,000 feet.
Now back to time. We say winter came early this year. Or spring came late. That is how we view time and seasons. Makes sense to us. Now start at 100 ft. Climb to 6,000 feet. Snow and winter above and spring and warmth below. Now apply that to our tracking. The changes to the earth are different below than above, certainly with a 6000 ft difference but just in different degrees in a thousand foot difference. Today I tracked two horses on the same day that were here on separate days and I tracked them through two seasons. Well not really my watch said the same and so did the calendar. But as a tracker I get to go back and forth and be in all the spaces and time simultaneously. Can I go back and change things? No. I am only the observer.
What do you see and when do you see it?
Oh that I be a robber in the night, not worthy but stealing the beauty of my earth.
Let me leave with this concept of tracking. Like any great skill tracking can be used for good or bad. I prefer not to use mine to hunt the animal down. I prefer to use mine to become one with the animal. If I do this I can find the food, water and nutriment and spiritualism I need to survive. I was twelve. Dropped at the mouth of Sycamore Canyon Arizona, with my buddy Paul. We had to stay 3 days with no provisions and we had to photograph ten signs of the same animal on a twenty mile hike up 4,ooo feet. We laughed too hard and debated staying an extra couple of days just to panic folks. Paul is gone, he dove into water without knowing the depth. But his words stay with me “can we just do this forever”, He died an Eagle Scout.
We are blessed with the great mother earth; we should strive for her to be blessed by us. (ed 1972)